Cannabis and stress: the relationship between stress hormones and marijuana

Ever thought of the internal factors responsible for the stress response of your body system to some situations around you? The reasons can be different, the way your system responds to stress or how well your system relaxes after experiencing severe stress.

Cortisol is the major hormone responsible for this. It is known as the stress hormone, some even call it the body’s alarm system. It is in charge of your system’s biological reaction to specific stimuli in your immediate surroundings. It could indicate exhaustion or a warning against threats whether to the mind or the body. Cortisol is also responsible for the flight or fight reflexes you experience when you find yourself in dangerous situations. Some of its other responsibilities include:

  1. Regulating carbohydrates, proteins, and fats level in the body
  2. Keeping inflammation in check
  3. Managing blood pressure
  4. Ruling your sleep cycle
  5. Boosting blood sugar

More cortisol means more energy to negate stress, which ends up being regulated. It means that cortisol is essential to an active human being. When it is in excess, you stand the risk of becoming overweight and that weakens your muscles. It also makes your skin more fragile and prone to bruises, and the chances of you having diabetes skyrockets. When you are short on cortisol, you get weak easily, you become prone to fatigue and your blood pressure drops immensely. When you are short on cortisol, you become predisposed to Addison’s disease. Considering that the disease is a condition that indicates that your adrenal glands aren’t secreting enough cortisol. You may begin to wonder what exactly is the correlation between this and cannabis? Well, it’s straightforward, cannabis and these stress hormones interact.

Cannabis and stress: the relationship between stress hormones and marijuanaHow do stress hormones and cannabis interact?

The endocannabinoid system (ECS) and the cannabinoid receptors in the human body are the channels with which cannabis and the stress hormones use for interactions.

The endocannabinoid system (ECS) has a significant influence over many activities in the human system, some of which include digestion, mood, stress, sleep, appetite, memory, and even muscle development. From research, it has been proven that the THC reacts well with the hypothalamus pituitary adrenal (HPA) axis, which is in charge of the stress hormones. This axis judges your body’s response to stress via the secretion of cortisol by the adrenal glands.

When the elimination of stressors has taken root, the residual cortisol contacts the hypothalamus and pituitary gland to halt the process that leads to the secretion of cortisol. As much as elevated levels of cortisol are normal, maintaining these elevated levels for a lengthy period can cause a negative impact. Now, this is where cannabis comes in, the work cannabis does is to elevate the level of cortisol in the body.

For occasional users of cannabis, the rise in cortisol levels tends to yield anxiety and a rise in blood pressure with time. For frequent users, exposure to marijuana can lead to a dampening response to stress. It means the body ceases to respond effectively to cortisol and its stress-judging activities.

From the study, researchers have been able to explain that habitual marijuana users show no rise in cortisol level when faced with situations that can cause stress. This indicates that their stress response was in the red zone something close to zero. On the surface, it may look like a good thing considering it means they can challenge stressful situations and are more resistant to stress. Don’t be fooled that’s just one half of the case, the other half indicates that, their low-stress response leads to poor awareness of threat or danger. Carrie Cuttler, neuroscience and integrative psychology assistant professor reported that this inability to recognize danger via hormonal distress is generally harmful to the individual. Consider the flight or fight reflexes, if these reflexes are dampened your body will lose the ability to warn you of imminent danger, putting your life at risk by doing that.

Are we saying that cannabis doesn’t relieve stress? This is an important question, considering that tons of reliable sources have confirmed that ingesting cannabis can help you relax and relieve you of stress. With all the negative impacts of cannabis ingestion already discussed, can any benefit be derived from cannabis?

Luckily, there are. A study by researchers at the University of Chicago aimed to prove if cannabis can truly relieve stress or maybe certain conditions must be met before this can happen. Their research evaluated the effect of 7.5 mg and 12.5 mg of THC on two distinct groups out of a total of 42 participants. A third group was assigned as the control group.  The necessary THC dose was administered to the first two groups. A mock interview was conducted to subject them to different stress circumstances. Before, during, and after these interviews, their stress levels were observed. The researchers paid attention to parameters such as cortisol levels, heart rate, and blood

Cannabis and stress: the relationship between stress hormones and marijuanapressure. The group with the least dosage of THC (7.5 milligrams) felt less stress during psychosocial activities when compared with those given 12.5 mg of THC. The second group with 12.5 milligrams showed increased stress levels, and anxiety levels were also amplified in the course of the test and after. Interestingly, heartbeat rate and cortisol levels did not experience any significant changes in the course of the test, after the test, and even before the test. All the groups had a similar experience in these parameters. They concluded that incredibly low doses of cannabis are capable of relieving stress. Increased stress and anxiety levels were observed in users who consumed higher doses of cannabis. Thus, cannabis can relieve stress levels and help you feel relaxed, but that’s only true for microdoses, higher doses do the exact opposite.

Conclusion

Adequate attention must be paid to the cortisol levels to ensure that it remains balanced in the body. Indiscriminate use of cannabis should be avoided to reduce the elevation of stress hormones or a significant decrease in its functions. Self-medicating on cannabinoids and THC are not advisable and thus you should consider professional opinion before attempting to use cannabis. If this option is not available at the store you buy cannabis, you should consider changing vendors. Buy cannabis Canada is a great option for you in this case. Aside from offering quality cannabis at affordable prices, we also provide expert opinions for new and experienced users on the healthiest does and amount of cannabis that is good for them. Our customer care service will answer any question you have about cannabis. You can take advantage of our ongoing promo to enjoy a 20% discount on any product you buy on our website. Make use of Canada20 as your promo code on the website.

How long does weed stay in your system?

Smoking weed does not often affect one’s overall well-being, certain types of weed may be hazardous for those who are trying to pass a drug test. People who smoke marijuana frequently require a detection window of approximately five days. If a marijuana smoker does not smoke marijuana joint every day, he or she is likely to get positive results from system drug tests in the next 30 days.

How long does weed stay in your body is contingent on the type of plant and the quantity of workout you perform. While exercising is beneficial for your system, doing excessive or inadequate exercise may have negative effects on the body.

Your body takes the time that’s needed to recuperate after intensive exercise. This depends on what kind of exercise you did and the time it took to complete. It also depends upon the health of your body, its genetic make-up along other variables like age.

People who are low in energy might pass drug screenings the first time. If they do not exercise regularly or exercise enough, they may be tired and unresponsive. Then they will exercise less which will cause them to get sicker.

Things To Know Before Weed Test:

  • You need to be aware of the genetic differences between males and women. The metabolic system that is inactive for women tends to be more extensive than that of men.
  • This means they are more likely to stay well-hydrated for longer periods in comparison to their male counterparts.
  • The study revealed that women take up to three days to recover from intense training. The average man takes less than an hour in order to recover after exercising.
  • Men experience higher resting heartbeats due to this difference in metabolism. This could also explain why women sweat more working out than males.
  • Another thing you should know regarding the test process is that it typically is not conducted during a vacation. Growth in weeds tends to be most noticeable during the spring and fall months.
  • The testing of blood can take place in summer and the spring, However, it’s also employed for this reason.
  • To maintain the correct balance, the body will analyze its blood to see how many plant it consumed. The weed will only be an issue when ingested, but often your body will analyze the amount of weed present in the bloodstream before ingesting it.

Conclusion:

  • It’s crucial to know that the body requires more time to process the calories from food items you consume. If you have a smaller number of daily meals instead of having two or three larger ones, the body’s body takes longer to process and digest the food you have eaten.
  • A way to counter this is by eating smaller meals over the course of your entire day. Your body will be invigorated longer when you eat three meals that are large. This will mean that the time it takes to spot plants will be longer. Another alternative is to eat several times each day, however, keep the portions smaller.
  • The research has proven that women with average height can shed as much as 5 pounds in menstrual cycles. That means that eating huge amounts of food is crucial if your metabolism needs to be on the right track.

Also Read:

How To Make Honey Oil?

Cannabis oil: What is it?

  • To put it simply, it is the oil extracted from the cannabis plant. The ratio of THC to CBD will vary depending on the plant. You will obtain the same ratio of THC to CBD in your oil as in your plants.
  • Typically, the oil extracted from an Indica strain is higher in CBD, whereas the oil extracted from most Sativa strains is typically higher in THC. Most people prefer hybrid cannabis plants that have a more even ratio of THC to CBD.

What Is The Process Of Extraction Of Cannabis Oil?

Cannabis oil can be extracted in a number of ways. Methods popularly used involve the use of ethanol or isopropyl alcohol, butane, or ice water. While some methods are easier than others, they all result in the same final product.

Honey Cannabis Oil: What is it?

  • Honey cannabis oil has been winterized. If you skip the winterization process you will end up with Cherry oil instead of Honey oil.
  • When honey oil goes through winterization, it is free of plant waxes, fats, and chlorophyll. As a result, the oil is much cleaner and clearer. As cherry oil skips the winterization process, it is much darker and more reminiscent of molasses than honey.

Is Hash oil and honey oil the same thing?

  • Yes, honey oil is the same as hash oil.
  • However, hash oil came first and was called honey oil, a non-technical term. As a result of the amber color of the concentrate and its resemblance to honey, hash oil is also called honey oil.
  • Cannabis oil is another name for hash oil or honey oil. Cannabis or hashish can be used to extract these.

Homemade honey oil: How to make it

Things You will need to make Honey Oil:

  • Cannabis or marijuana (10-20 grams are best)
  • A solution of isopropyl alcohol
  • The freezer
  • Pan for baking
  • The Jar
  • Filters or mesh bags for coffee
  • Tools such as knives or scrapers

Steps to make Honey Oil:

The first step is to:

Winterization is the first step. (Separately) place the cannabis and isopropyl alcohol in the freezer for 24 hours.

If you desire, you can use the entire plant, premium flowers, or just the sweet leaf and popcorn bud.

In Step 2, you will:

Remove the cannabis and isopropyl alcohol from the freezer after 24 hours. Put your cannabis in a jar with a lid (if not already) and then pour the isopropyl alcohol into the jar. Pour enough isopropyl alcohol to cover all of the cannabis.

In Step 3, you need to:

Shake the jar for 30 seconds.

The 4th step is:

Place the cannabis and isopropyl alcohol in a baking dish after passing them through a coffee filter or mesh bag. Here, we used a glass dish!

In Step 5, you must:

Wait for the isopropyl alcohol to evaporate. Usually, this takes between 24 and 48 hours. You can speed up the process by using a fan and a small heater. The baking dish does not need to be placed in the oven. Without high temperatures, it will evaporate!

The 6th step is:

After all the alcohol has evaporated, scrape the remaining oil into a container. Now that you have Honey oil, you can enjoy it!

Also Read:

How Long Does A High Last

There are a variety of factors that determine how long does a high last of cannabis.

Some of these include:

  • how much do you consume
  • how much tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is in it
  • Your weight and body fat percentage
  • Metabolic rate
  • whether you’ve eaten anything
  • how you react

Cannabis contains over 113 chemical compounds called Cannabinoids. The ingredient responsible for making you feel high is delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol (THC).

How Long Does A High Last?

  • Depending on the dose and potency, the duration of the effects can vary greatly. More THC and a higher THC level will give you a longer-lasting high.
  • The way you consume cannabis also affects when the effects peak and how long they last.

Here is a breakdown:

  • No smoking or vaping. Most of the effects of cannabis peak between 10 minutes and 3 hours after consumption, though some can last up to 8 hours.
  • Eating food. The effects of edibles usually peak between 2 and 24 hours after consumption.
  • The act of dabbing. The effects of dabbing normally last from one to three hours, just like those of smoking. If using a high THC concentrate, you could feel the effects for an entire day.

Although cannabis’ high may only last for a couple of hours, the comedown or aftereffects could linger for several hours or even into the next day. When you’re new to cannabis, it’s best to go slow.

What can be done to speed up the end of a high?

Based on some research, here are some suggestions:

  • You can take a nap. If you feel anxious or paranoid while high, sleeping can help you relax. In addition, it gives your body time to process and eliminates cannabis. After a few winks, you’ll feel refreshed and more alert.
  • Pepper is a great addition to a dish. There’s some evidence that caryophyllene, a compound found in peppercorn, can increase THC’s sedative effects. Just take a container of black pepper and have a sniff without inhaling it. Peppercorns whole also work well for chewing.
  • Eat a few pine nuts. Researchers have found that pinene, a compound found in pine nuts, can calm the nervous system and improve mental clarity. If you have a tree nut allergy, however, you should skip this method.
  • You can try CBD. CBD, it turns out, counteracts the effects of THC. Cannabidiol (CBD) is another cannabinoid, like THC. Their interaction with your brain is what makes them different. You get high from marijuana, but CBD has a calming effect that may help dull the high.
  • Peel some lemons and have them. Citrus contains compounds that can calm the nerves, particularly the peel. The effects of THC could be reversed by consuming citrus peels. Steep some in hot water for a few minutes, then remove them and drink. 

Note: It’s important to remember that these tips are designed to reduce the effects, not eliminate them. Because of this, you will likely still experience lingering effects, including a reduced reaction time, so you should avoid driving.

Also Read:

How To Roll A Backwood Blunt?

Looking for the secret to rolling a Backwoods blunt? Your search ends here, my friend. This guide will share with you everything you need to know for rolling the perfect blunt the first time and every time.

Let’s talk about the “what” before we get to “how to roll a backwood blunt” so that you understand how to roll the right Backwoods blunt.

What Is A Backwood Blunt?

  • Backwoods blunt is a blunt made from your favorite strain of cannabis and a Backwoods cigar wrapper.
  • Cigars made by Backwoods Cigars have a single tobacco leaf on the outside instead of a thin pressed tobacco paper or another type of cigar wrapper, making them different from other brands.
  • Over the last few years, Backwoods blunts have become increasingly popular among cannabis purists who are seeking a clean experience without chemicals, pesticides, and extreme metals.
  • With this knowledge, let’s get started with how to roll a Backwood blunt.

How To Roll A Backwood Blunt?

Step 1: Examine Your Backwood Cigars:

  • Backwoods Cigars are rolled from whole tobacco leaves, so their appearance is slightly different from brands like Swisher Sweet or Optima.
  • One of the biggest differences is that the mouth end is tightly wrapped. That’s where you’ll begin unrolling.
  • To open the wrapper of other cigar brands, you might consider using a small knife or razor blade.
  • It’s certainly possible to roll a Backwoods blunt the same way. However, pot purists may not be happy with this behavior.
  • Cuts are faster, but it doesn’t make them better. To get the most out of Backwoods, start by unrolling the wrapper first.
  • If you have that knowledge and skill, you will at least be able to do a cool trick that will impress your friends and make your enemies jealous.
  • Make sure you have several Backwoods Cigars on hand before moving ahead, since mistakes will be made and you will have to start over, prepare your mind and body for this minor trauma.

Step 2: Let’s unroll The Backwoods Cigar

  • Begin unrolling the cigar wrapper at the mouth end (the tapered end).
  • You should proceed slowly and be as gentle as you can because the wrapper may be fragile.
  • Once you’ve rolled a Backwoods blunt successfully several times, you’ll get used to it and go faster the next time around.
  • After you open the wrapper, empty the tobacco into a bowl if you want to use it again – for a Backwoods spliff – or into the trash if not. Your bud and wrapper will finish off the package.

Step 3: Make Your Weed Grindable

  • Make sure you have a grinder. Making blunts in the Backwoods is easier – but not just for beginners.
  • Your ganja adventures will be more enjoyable with a grinder at your side.
  • Ideally, you should end up with a fluffy, chunky texture. This facilitates airflow and makes the burn easier and more enjoyable

Step 4: Put The Backwoods Wrapper in Position

  • There are sharp and rounded edges on both sides of Backwoods wrappers.
  • To identify these two edges, the sharp edge is the cut end to which you would apply the flame. This is the end you would put in your mouth.
  • It is easier to learn how to roll a Backwoods blunt if the sharp edge is positioned away from your dominant hand.

Step 5: Put The Backwoods Wrapper in Position

  • Backwood wrappers are irregularly shaped with sharp edges on one side and rounded edges on the other.
  • In order to distinguish these two edges, simply apply flame to the edge that has a sharp edge. You would put the rounded edge in your mouth.

Step 6: Backwoods Blunt: Load it up

  • While holding your grinder, create a slight upward curve in the Backwoods wrapper.
  • Fill the Backwoods wrapper with as much pot as possible. It will make the final Backwoods blunt better and prevent it from collapsing when it’s lit.

Roll the wrapper slowly around the bud, beginning with the rounded edge, until you’ve got an enclosed tube with marijuana inside.

And that’s how you roll your backwood blunt!

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Can Smoking Weed Increase Your Heart Rate or Blood Pressure?

It’s happened to even the most experienced cannabis consumers: Someone took a massive rip of some weed labeled “sativa,” a hit so big that it filled every microscopic lung sac with THC-laden smoke, and shortly after coughing it out, the daring toker began to experience paranoia. Sweat beaded across their forehead. And soon, they swore their heart was racing. 

But no one has ever died from smoking too much weed, right? Right.

Heart disease contributes to roughly a quarter of all deaths in the US. In 2017, roughly 2,800,000 Americans died from heart disease, making it the number one killer in the Land of the Free. (In case you’re wondering, cancer comes in second, and traffic fatalities rank third.) 

The science on whether cannabis harms or heals the cardiovascular system remains contentious and unresolved. After all, the legendary cannabis activist Jack Herer experienced four cardiovascular events over his lifetime: a heart attack and a stroke in 2000; another heart attack in 2009; and another heart attack in 2010, which took his life. So, did cannabis protect Herer through each of these events, or did it contribute to them? Or does it depend on who’s smoking and what they’re smoking?

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Some Studies Say Cannabis Enhances Cardiovascular Health

Basically, some studies suggest that marijuana protects our heart and blood vessels, preventing hypertension, cardiac arrest, and even strokes. But other studies say just the opposite, that weed can ramp up the heart rate — and blood pressure — which could increase the risk of heart attack and stroke.

Let’s first take a look at the research that suggests weed helps with heart rate, blood pressure, and protecting our blood vessels.

A 2013 review paper in the British Journal of Pharmacology looked at CBD’s, or cannabidiol’s, effects on the human cardiovascular system. According to his research, CBD could potentially treat diabetes and inflammation, two conditions that contribute to serious cardiovascular damage. CBD can also reduce stress, another major contributor to heart and blood issues. And the same guy who wrote this paper also looked at 2-AG — which could be considered the body’s natural version of CBD (the two are chemical analogs) — and found similar positive effects from the endocannabinoid as he found with CBD, a plant-derived cannabinoid. 

Another study from 2017 found that just a single dose of CBD could lower blood pressure. That could be good news for anyone living with hypertension.

THCV, or tetrahydrocannabinol, is another cannabinoid found in cannabis, but one that’s much rarer than either CBD or THC. THCV can suppress appetite, essentially making it the anti-munchies component of weed. Researchers also know that it regulates insulin activity — meaning it could treat or prevent diabetes, which, as noted above, is a major contributor to heart disease.  

But what about THC, or tetrahydrocannabinol, the compound in cannabis that gets everyone lit? A 2008 study found that THC could prevent plaque buildup in arteries, the same plaques that cause heart attacks. But, as we’ll discuss below, THC could also be the thing in weed that worsens heart conditions, so let’s not get too excited about everyone’s favorite party molecule.

However, all-in-all, cannabis may not do much to help or harm the cardiovascular system. In 2018, researchers looked at 24 studies regarding heart health and marijuana use. The studies ranged from 1975 to 2017. After four individual reviewers graded the studies on legitimacy, they concluded that there wasn’t enough data to show that weed protected or damaged either the heart or the blood vessels. Does that settle the issue? Not really, but it does mean we need more research on this topic, which is currently being obstructed by the federal government’s stance on cannabis. 

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Other Studies Say Cannabis Can Compromise Cardiovascular Health

OK, now for the not-so-fun portion of this discussion.

We know that THC can cause our blood vessels to loosen and expand through a process called vasodilation. Vasodilation is why some tokers’ eyes turn red after they get lifted. When the blood vessels dilate, blood pressure drops, which is usually a good thing, especially in people with high blood pressure. But the heart will adjust to lower blood pressure by pumping blood harder to make up for the pressure loss. Studies show that the heart can increase blood pressure by as much as 30 percent after someone gets lit, averaging 30 to 50 additional beats per minute. 

Furthermore, we can look at states with lax marijuana laws to glean further insight. If medical marijuana states have more people smoking pot within their borders than states under full prohibition, then we should see higher rates of heart disease in medical states, too, yeah? According to a 2018 study in the International Journal of Drug Policy, medical states saw a 2.3 percent and a 1.3 percent increase in heart disease diagnoses among men and women, respectively, shortly after the passage of their medical marijuana laws. But, to be fair, it’s not accurate to compare the number of cannabis users in medical marijuana states to prohibition states, since there’s no way to track how many people consume cannabis in prohibition states. Plus, correlation does not imply causation. 

However, that 2018 study didn’t look at data after 2014, either, which is when Colorado and Washington started selling legal recreational weed. It’d be interesting to see how the data pans out now that 11 US states now have legalized commercial cannabis.

There are also studies that show that someone’s risk of heart attack is five times higher after smoking weed than when they’re sober. Another study found that regular cannabis consumers were four times more likely to suffer a stroke than non-consumers. Note that both of these studies only looked at pot smokers, and we know that smoking anything — whether cannabis or tobacco — exposes the user to smoke particles that can damage cells and DNA. It’s possible that regular consumption of non-smokable forms of cannabis, such as edibles, drinkables, tinctures, topicals, or vaporized products, may not contribute to heart disease. Or, some other factor such as stress (like stressing out over being arrested for smoking weed) could be higher in some weed smokers than in those who abstain from the plant. https://platform.twitter.com/embed/index.html?dnt=false&embedId=twitter-widget-0&frame=false&hideCard=false&hideThread=false&id=480476761944502272&lang=en&origin=https%3A%2F%2Fmerryjane.com%2Fhealth%2Fcan-smoking-weed-increase-your-heart-or-blood-pressure&siteScreenName=merryjane&theme=light&widgetsVersion=219d021%3A1598982042171&width=550px

Basically, if you’ve got heart issues, talk with a doctor before you pick up a bong or a vaporizer. And always keep track of how you’re feeling when you’re lit. If smoking a doob ain’t working out for you, try another, non-smokable form of cannabis. The science is still out on whether cannabis helps or hurts your heart, but one thing we know for sure is that weed alone will not kill you. 

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All the Benefits of Weed, Vol. 3: Cancer, Epilepsy, and Sexual Health

As we learned in the first two installments of this series, scientific research shows that weed does a body good — real good. In Volume 1, we explored cannabis’s effect on cognition, mental wellness, pain, bones and joints, as well as digestive and internal health. In Volume 2, we looked at the impact cannabis has on cardiovascular health, neurodegenerative diseases, migraines, and fibromyalgia. 

In Volume 3, we’ll look into how marijuana can affect patients dealing with cancer, asthma, liver disease, sexual difficulties, and other health issues.

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The Answer to Cancer Is Weed

There are tons of studies looking at the plant’s ability to treat cancer. It may be the most studied aspect of cannabis. Last year, Israeli researchers announced that several weed extracts showed promise of fighting cancer. The research looked at 12 types of cancers and how different cannabis extracts impacted those cells. Although some of the extracts showed little or no effect on the growth of cancer cells, three (out of 12) showed a 37 to 51 percent reduction in tumor size. Extracts high in THC appear to be the most promising anti-cancer formulations.

A 2013 study found that when combinations of cannabinoids are used together, they can synergistically inhibit the growth of leukemia cells. Research published in 2006 also indicated that cannabinoids can hinder the growth and spread of pancreatic cancer in animals. 

An Italian study in 2011 looked at mice with colon cancer and found that CBD reduced polyps and tumors, and protected DNA from getting damaged by oxidation. In a 2015 study, CBD was also found to inhibit tumor growth in triple-negative breast cancer, one of the most aggressive forms of the disease. And, in 2014, research demonstrated that THC and CBD could stop the growth of cells in glioma, one of the most aggressive forms of brain cancer. It’s worth noting that cannabinoids were particularly effective when combined with traditional radiation therapy treatments.

European research published in 2013 found that anandamide, the endocannabinoid analogous to THC, inhibited the growth of tumors in patients with melanoma, an aggressive form of skin cancer. Along with ingesting it, topical application is the best way to treat various forms of skin cancer.

Then, in 2015, an analysis of nearly 85,000 medical records revealed that weed use was associated with a 45-percent reduction in bladder cancer. This analysis only looked at men’s medical records, however. Moreover, a Spanish study published in 2009 found that a synthetic activator of the CB2 receptor stopped the growth of prostate cancer cells in mice.

So, we know that cannabis can be effective at fighting cancer cells and tumors. But, let us not forget another well-known benefit of weed for cancer patients: Its ability to relieve nausea and vomiting, two debilitating side effects of chemotherapy. It can also help stimulate cancer patients’ appetites, allowing them to eat food and restore their vitality.

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Using Cannabis for Internal, Sexual, and Whole Body Health

The benefits of weed also extend into other aspects of internal health, too, from liver health and bladder wellness to treating eye conditions. In fact, cannabis is an ideal tool for achieving overall holistic health. For example, a study in 2011 shows CBD can induce the death of hepatic stellate cells, a major factor in the growth and development of liver fibrosis.

In 1976, a study found THC aerosol to be an effective bronchodilator, as it significantly improved lung function in patients with asthma. A lot of people argue that cannabis is bad for the lungs, but when used in the proper forms, it can potentially be very helpful.

A study in 2015 found that cannabinoids can reduce seizures in patients with epilepsy, particularly the forms that are resistant to traditional therapies. Dravet syndrome and Lennox-Gastaut syndrome are two of the most well-known forms of treatment-resistant epilepsy. Devastatingly, these illnesses mostly impact children, as most who have these horrific conditions usually don’t live into adulthood. But, there are a number of kids and families who live semi-normal lives thanks to cannabis’s impact on seizures. 

Another popular use of medical marijuana is treating glaucoma, one of the leading causes of blindness worldwide. For decades, people with this eye condition have used cannabis to manage the painful symptoms. A study published in 2004 found that cannabinoids can be effective in reducing interocular pressure, which can range from annoying to debilitating pain for those with the condition. Cannabis, thankfully, is among few treatments that actually provide relief.

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Cannabis Can Treat Diseases and Improve Your Sexual Health

The health benefits of weed also extend into sexual wellness. Research shows that cannabis use can lead to an initial increase in libido for men. Although, it should be noted that chronic use can actually lead to a decrease in libido. So, keep that in mind before you get too stoned to bone.

Other potential medical uses of cannabis include the treatment of infectious diseases such as malaria and herpes

Although this article series has listed many of the studies exploring the health benefits of weed, it is by no means exhaustive. There have been tens of thousands of scientific papers written on the subject, and more research — spurred by the spread of legalization — is coming. And we need it, particularly human trials. That’s when we’ll start seeing hard data about all the benefits of weed.

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Canada Will Let Terminally Ill Patients Use Psychedelic Mushrooms For End-Of-Life Care

Four cancer patients in end-of-life care will be become the first people in decades to legally possess and consume psilocybin mushrooms in Canada after a landmark decision Tuesday by the country’s minister of health.

The patients petitioned Health Minister Patty Hajdu back in April for exemptions from the country’s laws against psilocybin in order to use psychedelic mushrooms as part of psychotherapy treatment. On Tuesday afternoon, Hajdu officially granted the patients’ request, the nonprofit TheraPsil, which assisted with the application, announced.

The approvals mark the first publicly-known individuals to receive a legal exemption from the Canadian Drugs and Substances Act to access psychedelic therapy, Therapsil said, and the first medical patients to legally use psilocybin since the compound became illegal in Canada in 1974.

“This is the positive result that is possible when good people show genuine compassion. I’m so grateful that I can move forward with the next step of healing,” one of the patients, Thomas Hartle, said in a statement Tuesday.

The applicants, as well as various advocates for psychedelic therapy, had personally appealed to Hajdu via a concerted social media campaign during the months their applications were pending.

“Health Canada is committed to carefully and thoroughly reviewing each request for an exemption under the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act, on a case-by-case basis, taking into account all relevant considerations, including evidence of potential benefits and risks or harms to the health and safety of Canadians,” a government spokesperson told Marijuana Moment in an email. “These exemptions do not change the fact that the sale and possession of magic mushrooms remain illegal in Canada.”

In statements issued Tuesday, other patients thanked Hajdu and said they were optimistic that more patients will one day have safe, legal access to psilocybin for therapeutic use.

“I want to thank the Health Minister and Health Canada for approving my request for psilocybin use. The acknowledgement of the pain and anxiety that I have been suffering with means a lot to me, and I am feeling quite emotional today as a result,” said Laurie Brooks, an applicant from British Columbia. “I hope this is just the beginning and that soon all Canadians will be able to access psilocybin, for therapeutic use, to help with the pain they are experiencing, without having to petition the government for months to gain permission.”

TheraPsil said on Tuesday that it expects more people to petition the government for exemptions following the first four patients’ approval. A separate request by the nonprofit to allow therapists to use psychedelics themselves in preparation for treating patients with psilocybin was not addressed in Tuesday’s announcement, the group said.

The government, in its statement to Marijuana Moment, said that the use of “magic mushrooms also comes with risks, including increased heart rate and blood pressure, flashbacks and bad trips that may lead to risk-taking behaviour, traumatic injuries and even death.”

All of the four patients who received the new exemptions have been diagnosed with untreatable cancer. Therapists who use psychedelics in their practices say that psilocybin-aided therapy sessions can help patients deal with issues such as depression and anxiety, allowing them to better accept death as a natural part of existence.

“At this point psilocybin is a reasonable medical choice for these individuals,” TheraPsil’s executive director, Spencer Hawkswell, told Marijuana Moment in an interview last month. “This is about the minister being compassionate and using her ministerial abilities to help give patients access to something that’s going to help them.”

The therapeutic potential of psychedelics has attracted attention in recent years from a growing number of academics, policy makers and even the U.S. government. In September of last year, Johns Hopkins University announced the launch of the nation’s first-ever psychedelic research center, a $17-million project to study whether psychedelics can treat conditions such as opioid use disorder, Alzheimer’s disease, depression, anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorder.

In June, the University of North Carolina (UNC) announced a $27 million project funded by the U.S. Department of Defense to research and develop an entirely new class of psychedelics-inspired drugs. The program, UNC said, “aims to create new medications to effectively and rapidly treat depression, anxiety, and substance abuse without major side effects.”

Meanwhile, activists in the United States have advocated for state- and local-level reforms to research, decriminalize and in some cases even legalize psychedelics.

In May 2019, Denver became the first U.S. city to enact such a reform, with voters approving a measure that effectively decriminalized psilocybin possession. Soon after, officials in Oakland, California, decriminalized possession of all plant- and fungi-based psychedelics. In January of this year, the City Council in Santa Cruz, California, voted to make the enforcement of laws against psychedelics among the city’s lowest enforcement priorities.

Reformers are pushing for similar changes in other jurisdictions. A proposal in Washington, D.C. would allow voters to decide this fall whether to decriminalize plant- and fungi-based psychedelic drugs, including psilocybin, ayahuasca and ibogaine. A decision on whether that initiative will make the ballot is expected later this week. In Oregon, voters in November will consider a measure that would decriminalize all drugs and expand access to treatment. A separate Oregon proposal would legalize psilocybin therapy—the same therapy sought by the Canadian cancer patients.

Lawmakers in Hawaii earlier this year approved a plan to study psilocybin mushrooms’ medical applications with the goal of eventually legalizing access.